A little-known reserve in the heart of Mount Maunganui has been selected to become the city's next community garden.
May St Reserve could soon be humming with people planting and tending their vegetable plots after the Tauranga City Council yesterday approved giving the land a new lease of life.
Nearly half of the former croquet lawns will be covered with raised vegetable plots if the initiative by the Mount Lions Club becomes the success story of the city's other community garden on the Otumoetai Railway Reserve where people pay $20 a month for their plot.
Lions Club secretary Brian Dey said there was still a lot more work to go before the community garden got the final tick from the council.
The plan for the garden has to meet the conditions of the council's community gardens policy.
Mr Dey said there was not a single negative reaction to the 200 letters sent to residents living in the area of the reserve.
Sixty-four supported a community garden, 29 would like to rent a plot and a further 26 would like to help with administration.
The Lions' plan comes barely eight months after the council ended years of speculation about the future of the reserve by deciding that it would not be sold.
It used to be home to the Mount and Papamoa Croquet Club until the club shifted to the Mount Greens sports complex.
Thirty to 40 plots were considered to be a viable target for the community garden which now enters the next phase of planning - calling a public meeting to establish a management committee.
Mount councillor David Stewart supported the garden, saying his only concern was that it was a very valuable piece of land and whether it was the best long-term use for the land had yet to be seen.
''Things change over time and there could be a better opportunity.''
The council will offer a reviewable three-year licence to occupy for the gardens.